Readers’ Corner: Colorado Old And New

The Lucky Hat Mine. The Civil War is raging when young New Orleans resident Millie, in search of a better life, answers a “wife wanted” ad in the local newspaper. She survives a perilous journey to Idaho Springs in Colorado Territory, only to find her fiancé dead and awaiting a proper burial.   When her betrothed’s brother shows up, insisting her intended was murdered for his mining claim, a mystery/romance follows, overflowing with historical anecdotes and period detail from Colorado novelist J.v.L. Bell.

Deep Blue. Fast forward to this 2015 debut novel by Kathleen Duhamel. Set in Denver, “barely not starving” artist Claire falls for iconic 62-year-old soul singer Robert Silver of the legendary band Deep Blue. She soon learns that hero worship can be dangerous when the object of her desire comes with a disturbing past. After Robert’s demons resurface on tour, Claire must decide how far she’ll go to save a troubled man. Local landmarks such as Red Rocks, Civic Center Park and DIA give the story a distinctive Colorado vibe.

A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains: Isabella Bird puts paid to the notion that women in the 1800s lacked adventuring spirit. A nineteenth-century traveler, writer, and  natural historian. Bird left Britain in 1872, going to remote locations around the world, winding up in Colorado. Her time in Estes Park with a “dear desperado” mountain man as companion entrances and inspires. She never stopped breaking society’s dictates and continued pursuing her passions throughout her life.

The Dog Stars: Hig somehow survived a flu pandemic (sound familiar?) that killed everyone he knows. Wife gone, friends dead, he lives in a small abandoned airport with his dog and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope. A random transmission through the radio of his old Cessna sends him on a journey to see who and what has survived. A compelling story by celebrated writer Peter Heller with insights into life on the Eastern plains, Grand Junction, and other hidden treasures.

Author Kathleen Duhamel writes humorous contemporary romance featuring “seasoned” characters. Her newest is Fed Up. Author Bonne McCune’s latest is Never Retreat, a suspenseful romance in Colorado’s wilderness.